Jaime Penedo had impressed a lot of people with his performance for Panama at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Now he gets a chance to show his skills in Major League Soccer. This week, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy announced that Jaime Penedo has been signed to a contract, pending his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
In addition to 89 international appearances for Panama, Penedo brings years of experience playing in Central America. Penedo began his club career in his native Panama, beginning his professional career with Plaza Amador before joining Arabe Unido, who he helped lead to the Apertura and Clausura titles in 2004. After two years in Europe, playing in Italy for Cagliari and in Spain for Ossauna, Penedo returned to Central America, joining Guatemalan side Municipal in 2007.
He spent the last six years with the Guatemala City-based club, helping them win two Clausura titles (2008 and 2010) and two Apertura titles (2009 and 2011) while appearing in more than 150 games for the club. Thanks to Penedo’s goalkeeping savvy, Municipal qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League four times in the six years of the competition.
NAME: Jaime Penedo
DATE OF BIRTH: September 26, 1981 in Panama City, Panama
HOMETOWN: Panama City, Panama
LAST CLUB: Municipal (Guatemala)
SQUAD NUMBER: 18
Penedo brings the type of clutch skills that were lacking from Carlo Cudicini when he was the starting goalkeeper. He is expected to start in goal for the Galaxy when they face AC Milan in the third place match of the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.
The Galaxy defeated an astoundingly out-of-form Juventus side, 3-1, on Saturday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
“We take it all with a grain of salt because they’re in the preseason, but they played two completely different teams in each half so fatigue wasn’t really a factor [for Juventus]. I was proud of how we played,” said midfielder Landon Donovan to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I thought our performance was good, we probably had a chance to score a few more goals, and overall, I think we’re all very happy with the way that it went.
“For me personally, it is quite the dream. I grew up a Dodger fan and I used to get an hour to watch TV and I would dedicate it to Dodger games throughout the summer. I’ve been at this stadium many times as a fan, so to be here as a player was really special. It was great. The weather was great. The atmosphere was fun, and I think the guys enjoyed it.”
“It’s great. It’s a nice experience,” added Arena. “I came here the other night for the Dodgers-Yankees game and it was great to be here, then to think that some days later that I would be here with my team is kind of amazing.”
As for AC Milan, the Galaxy will treat this like any other match.
“Every team that we face in this tournament is a huge experience for us. It’s nice to see players and teams from big leagues, and see how they play on the field,” midfielder Marcelo Sarvas told Serrano. “I think that everyone expected us to be in last place, but now we’re playing for third place. We have to put the Galaxy brand in the best scenario.”
“It’ll be fun. Getting those guys again, they’re one of the top clubs around the world, these experiences are great. We’ll take full advantage of it,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “It’ll be a good challenge for us without a doubt. We’re looking forward to it.”